A couple of days ago ABM-Amro was about to be acquired by Barclays, and both boards were happily posing for the press. In the meanwhile Barclays was getting ready 67 billion € and the Dutch authorities were very happy to know that the group would go on paying taxes at home.
But then Royal Bank of Scotland, Fortis and Grupo Santander counter offered 72 billion €. And they are supposed to be able to offer more.
But, what is it going to happen after the buy out? The first case would be just a clean old-fashioned absorption, but the second would need far more surgery. If the second group wins, they’ll end up splitting the prey into pieces, pieces big enough to be interesting, but small enough to be digested.
Same is happened with Spain’s Endesa. Instead of being absorbed by German E-On it will be finally split into two pieces: one chunk for E-On (the price to pay for their retreat) and a bigger chunk (a smaller Endesa) controlled by Enel (yes, Italian and it’s still part public) and Acciona, a Spanish construction group.
Looks like now companies hunt in packs. That way they can catch the bigger fish. In the end extensive surgery is needed and prey are completely transformed.
It had to happen some day. No big company is safe now.